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Defeating Difficult Demons

Power and Authority of Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Faith in Christ and the Power of Christ are essential to defeating difficult demons, sin, and temptation.

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If someone visited us lately once a month, he might think that all I talk about are demons. However, the eighth and ninth chapters of the Gospel of Luke thread accounts of Jesus’ power and authority over evil spirits among other displays of His power. Jesus displayed power over the earthly elements by calming the storm just before casting out of a Gadarene a legion of demons. When He returned, Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead, demonstrating His power and authority over life and death. Then He gave power and authority to His disciples over diseases and demons and they went out as Jesus said.
He transfigured on the mountain before Peter, John, and James, proving His divine nature as one with God the Father. Now, in our passage this morning, He and the three disciples return to the people, having just had a real mountaintop experience and what do they encounter? Another evil spirit! What a contrast between the good and righteous acts of Jesus to calm natural forces, to conquer death, and to display His true glory compared to the pain and suffering inflicted by the demons of Satan! The works of Christ are good and beneficial while the works of demons are malicious and destructive.

Defeating Difficult Demons

Luke 9:
Luke 9:37–42 AV
And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him. And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child. And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him. And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not. And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither. And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.
Defeating Difficult Demons Requires Faith in Jesus
When this father asks Jesus to cast out the demon in his son, Jesus responds by calling those people of His time “faithless” and “perverse.” Now, does this response from Jesus offend you? No doubt it offended His hearers. What would be your response if Jesus appeared among us suddenly and called you “faithless” and “perverse”? Would you take offense? Are you so weak and wimpy that you would be offended at Jesus’ words?
Jesus is pointing out that life here on earth is a struggle against the forces of Satan. A faithless generation did not believe that they were in a struggle against wickedness in high places. A perverse generation does not know the horror of sin when it is staring them in the face. They believe the lies of powers because they want to believe. Truth doesn’t matter. Their perverse view of God, morality, and feelings are what matter.
Ephesians 6:10–18 AV
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
ephesians 6:10-18
A faithless generation did not believe that they were in a struggle against wickedness in high places. A perverse generation does not know the horror of sin when it is staring them in the face. They believe the lies of powers because they want to believe. Truth doesn’t matter. Their perverse view of God, morality, and feelings are what matter.
Because the disciples had been able to cast out demons earlier but could not cast out this one indicates that either their faith was not as strong as it had been or that some demons may be more powerful than others. I believe that some demons are more powerful than others. adds this conversation to this account.
Matthew 17:20–21 AV
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Mark 9:28–29 AV
And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
The greatest struggles against Satan and his forces today can be summarized as faithlessness and perversity. People either don’t believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, or they have a perverted, or distorted, understanding of God. Faithlessness and perversity are effective tactics of Satan. He used both in the Garden against Eve. He caused her to doubt God and he perverted what God had really said. He used both against Jesus in the wilderness. He tried to cast doubt about who He was and doubt about God and he perverted the Word of God in his temptations against Jesus.
Spiritual evil applies these tactics to you and me every day. We may not come spirit to spirit with a demon, but their influence is openly exposed in our culture today that promotes sin, perversity about what God has said in the scriptures, and the uncontrolled hatred on display by the media and celebrities. Jesus makes a profound declaration that is often overlooked.
Later the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast out the demon. He replied in the Matthew account that they couldn’t cast the demon out because their faith was weak but He added that this kind of demon requires prayer and fasting in addition to faith to cast out. The power of Christ is sufficient but we have to be suitable containers of that power. A battery may be fully charged but if the connection is corroded, the starter on the car doesn’t get the power. Likewise, Christ’s power is omnipotent, but we have to remove corrosion on our contacts with the culture to apply His power through us. Prayer and fasting purifies that connection.
Prayer works against demons, sin, and temptation. This week I read this news article:
At that 1975 meeting, a woman said seven words that transformed Hopkins’ life, put him on the road to more than 40 years of continuous sobriety, and helped make him one of the most successful motion picture stars in the history of the industry. The seven words: “Why don’t you just trust in God?” Hopkins took that advice, and the results speak for themselves. He went from being hung over and difficult to work with to become one of the most beloved movie stars of all time. And what worked for Hopkins can work for anyone.

The article went on to say:
They identified addiction as a spiritual issue as well as a physical and mental one, which meant that a spiritual solution was in order. And that’s why, 40 years after the program was founded, a woman asked Anthony Hopkins in an A.A. meeting: “Why don’t you just trust in God?”
...Early members of A.A. discovered that by inviting God into their lives they were able to overcome their addictions to alcohol. And then they found that by keeping God in their lives, they were able to meet all of life‘s challenges as never before – in Bill Wilson’s words, “to match calamity with serenity,“
read:http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/08/04/these-seven-words-changed-anthony-hopkins-life-can-change-yours-too.html
While the article does not talk of salvation, it does show that the power of God is real to those who call upon Him, acknowledging their sin and trusting Him for strength and guidance to overcome sin. The power of God is real. The power of God is life-changing. If Christ hasn’t changed your life, you might want to check up and ask yourself why. The correct answer is not that you have lived a good life that doesn’t need change. If you think that, you are one of the faithless and perverse generation that Jesus addressed in this passage. Prayer and fasting will reveal many flaws. I can testify from personal experience.
2. Defeating Difficult Demons Requires the Power and Authority of Jesus
Demons have the ability to possess people. Therefore they are powerful.
Satan has brought demons and sin into the world. Overcoming sin requires faith in Christ, sometimes with prayer and fasting. Overcoming sin requires the power and authority of Jesus.
Look again at
Luke 9:43–45 AV
And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.
Is Jesus changing the subject with His prophecy that He would be betrayed into the hands of men? No, He is using the attention of this miracle to direct His hearers to the greater purpose of His ministry. Jesus is not a mere miracle worker. He is not just a demon buster. He is the Christ, God in flesh, Savior of the world, and Lord of heaven and earth!
Sadly, it seems that no one got it. Oh, they got the healings! They got the feedings! They got the raisings from the dead! What they got was a concept of Jesus’ doing what they wanted.
His prophecy reveals that He is doing what God the Father purposed. He reveals His steadfastness to the Father’s will. He would not be with them always, so they needed to learn to live by faith and truth.
Ephesians 6:10–18 AV
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Ron Blue made an interesting observation when he said that money can be a tool, a test, or a testimony. Actually, all that we face in life can be a test or a testimony.
What a difference the rest of today, this next week, and the rest of our lives would be if we had faith even the size of a mustard seed to see that all that we face in life can be a test or a testimony.
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